Neutral Buoyancy Simulator (NBS)
This is a cutaway illustration of the Neutral Buoyancy Simulator (NBS) at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC ). The MSFC NBS provided an excellent environment for testing hardware to examine how it would operate in space and for evaluating techniques for space construction and spacecraft servicing. Here, engineers, designers, and astronauts performed various tests to develop basic concepts, preliminary designs, final designs, and crew procedures. The NBS was constructed of welded steel with polyester-resin coating. The water tank was 75-feet (22.9- meters) in diameter, 40-feet (12.2-meters) deep, and held 1.32 million gallons of water. Since it opened for operation in 1968, the NBS had supported a number of successful space missions, such as the Skylab, Solar Maximum Mission Satellite, Marned Maneuvering Unit, Experimental Assembly of Structures in Extravehicular Activity/Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures (EASE/ACCESS), the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Space Station. The function of the MSFC NBS was moved to the larger simulator at the Johnson Space Center and is no longer operational.